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Bodies believed tied to Mandela’s ex-wife

JOHANNESBURG — Forensic scientists exhumed two bodies on Tuesday believed to belong to young activists last seen 24 years ago at the home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as police said they have opened a new murder investigation.

The case reopens a dark chapter in the life of the then-wife of Nelson Mandela. Many South Africans still revere the 76-year-old as ‘‘the mother of the nation,’’ but others have feared her as a vengeful and heartless operator. She had ‘‘the blood of African children on her hands,’’ her former friend Xoliswa Falati told South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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